Calming the Storm: Using the Service Portfolio to Manage Service Complexity
How do you manage the complexity of services that span multiple functional teams and technologies while including outside service providers? The answer is service portfolio management.
When properly enabled, the Service Portfolio provides organizational capabilities to assess, plan and make investment decisions on what services to offer. This is all done in a manner that allows you to sell those services to your customers.
Yes, you sell. Because, to run IT like a business, you need to change your game from focusing on what you do (managing and delivering IT in your prescribed functional area) to what you sell: end-to-end services that your customers want to buy.
The service portfolio is where you manage the complexity between the disparate IT technology, functional teams and delivery mechanisms that all come together to create the service your business partners need. It enables understanding and support for what is important to your customers and business partners. This is done by transforming what IT does into a set of deliverables tied together into a package of end-to-end services that leverage a service taxonomy, services catalogs and service offerings that meet the needs of your business and constituency. Having a service portfolio provides insight into making better decisions and is a key capability for any organization that intends to run IT like a business.
The service portfolio is also where critical interdependencies are established with other Business of IT processes and capabilities. A well-defined portfolio of services provides the valuable information necessary to enable these processes and capabilities in a “service” and place it in a consumable context. For example:
- Financial Management for Services: Cost models, transparency, and budget planning in a service construct.
- Application Portfolio Management: Application rationalization, standardization, life cycle and strategic planning linked to services and service value.
- Demand Management: Assessing, qualifying and shaping service demand to meet customer needs.
- Project Portfolio Management: Managing organizational priorities and projects aligned to service value.
- Configuration Management and CMDB: Linking underlying IT complexity to into operational service impacts models that can be used to support your service goals.
For organizations that want to move from “order-takers” to strategic partners, enabling a service portfolio capability is crucial. The key outcome of developing a Service Portfolio capability is to re-orient your business model to focus on services and delivering service value. This will lead to better data that helps you make better business decisions and extends the value of your organization.
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